Two men have been accused of cheating, unlawfully owning wild animals and theft during a fishing competition in Ohio on Friday, according to multiple reports.
Here’s what happened.
Men allegedly put weights inside their fish
The two individuals charged with the crimes were 42-year-old Jacob Runyan and 35-year-old Chase Cominsky.
County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley said in a statement from the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, “The director of the tournament noticed Runyan and Cominsky’s walleyes weighed more than they looked and sliced open the fish.”
The incident occurred at the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament. NBC News reported that the tournament director, Jason Fischer, opened up the fish and discovered weights inside. People in attendance were upset over the sight of the weights.
Along with the cheating, the two men were further accused of unlawfully owning wild animals and attempted theft, according to CBS News.
O’Malley’s statement explained that “County District Attorney’s Office and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission executed a search warrant at Cominsky’s residence on Tuesday ... and seized Chase Cominsky’s boat and trailer.”
The cheating went viral on TikTok
Rolling Stone reported that though while incident has rattled the fishing community, many others outside of that group have heard of the scandal, leading the news to go viral.
A video about the controversy on TikTok got 4.5 million views and a Twitter post on the scandal got more than 130,000 likes, according to NBC News.
As the news has gone viral, the investigators hope to make it known that this case is being taken seriously and that what happened in the competition is considered criminal behavior.
O’Malley said in the case’s statement, “I take all crime very seriously, and I believe what these two individuals attempted to do was not only dishonorable but also criminal.”